A post-Election Day tally of documented spending in Pennsylvania’s 2015 Supreme Court race shows total spending rose to $16,536,492, further surpassing the previous national record for a Supreme Court race, according to an analysis of state disclosures and television advertising by the nonpartisan organizations Justice at Stake and the Brennan Center for Justice.
WASHINGTON, D.C., November 5 - Justice at Stake Interim Executive Director Liz Seaton issued the following statement today on the 75th anniversary of the adoption of the Missouri Nonpartisan Court Plan:
WASHINGTON, D.C. November 3 - Pennsylvania’s superheated Supreme Court election has broken the previous documented national spending record for any state Supreme Court race, even as spending figures continue to roll in.
WASHINGTON, D.C. –October 29, 2015 - Special interest groups spent a record-high 29 percent of total spending in state judicial races in the 2013-14 election cycle, according to a new report by Justice at Stake, the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law, and the National Institute on Money in State Politics.
WASHINGTON, D.C. October 27 - Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court election has already set records for candidate fundraising, overall spending, and total television airtime spending, with a week remaining before voters fill three open seats on the court, according to an analysis of state disclosures and television advertising by the nonpartisan organizations Justice at Stake and the Brennan Center for Justice.
WASHINGTON, D.C. October 21 - Two independent groups, The Republican State Leadership Committee (RSLC) and Pennsylvanians for Judicial Reform, are now embroiled in an ad war in the Pennsylvania Supreme Court election. The RSLC, a national group that was also a top multi-state spender in 2014’s state Supreme Court elections, today announced that it had launched “a two-week, multi-platform ad campaign with an initial investment of more than $1 million” in the race.
WASHINGTON, D.C., October 20 - Justice at Stake Interim Executive Director Liz Seaton issued the following statement today, after legislation reforming Pennsylvania’s expensive, partisan appellate court judicial elections passed the House Judiciary Committee with bipartisan support.
WASHINGTON, D.C. October 16 - A group funded mainly by plaintiff trial lawyers started running television ads this week opposing the Republican candidates for the three open seats on the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, according to a search of publicly available Federal Communications Commission records by the nonpartisan organizations Justice at Stake and the Brennan Center for Justice. Pennsylvanians for Judicial Reform purchased contracts for $56,320 at three stations.
The first television ads in the Pennsylvania Supreme Court general election will begin airing October 6, 2015 in Pittsburgh, according to a search of publicly available Federal Communications Commission records by the nonpartisan organizations Justice at Stake and the Brennan Center for Justice
Justice at Stake Interim Executive Director Liz Seaton issued the following statement today, in response to a newly-released Reuters investigation suggesting that state Supreme Court justices who must face election are more likely than appointed justices to uphold death sentences on appeal.
WASHINGTON, D.C., September 3 - Justice at Stake Interim Executive Director Liz Seaton issued the following statement today, after a Kansas judge ruled that a 2014 law stripping the Kansas Supreme Court of certain personnel authority over lower state courts was unconstitutional, and did not address a non-severability clause that linked funding for the entire state court system to the law.
On the eve of the 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act, Justice at Stake Executive Director Bert Brandenburg issued the following statement: “Ever since the fight for voting rights entered a new era with the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2013 ruling in Shelby County v. Holder, state and federal courts have become central to defining and protecting this right. And state courts are increasingly called on to decide key voting rights cases including the constitutionality of state voter ID laws, redistricting proposals accused of being discriminatory, and other measures affecting voting rights. With so much at stake, it is critical that these courts remain fair and impartial. Justice at Stake is dedicated to reforms that will keep money, politics and partisan pressure out of the courts.”
WASHINGTON, D.C., July 1 - In response to reports that some Oklahoma state legislators are threatening to file articles of impeachment against seven state Supreme Court justices, Justice at Stake Deputy Executive Director Liz Seaton issued the following statement:
WASHINGTON, D.C., June 26 - Justice at Stake Executive Director Bert Brandenburg issued the following statement following the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling today in Obergefell v. Hodges:
Justice at Stake recently joined four other fair courts advocacy organizations in signing a brief to the Ninth U.S. Circuit of Appeals in the case of Wolfson v. Concannon, asking the court to uphold rules from the Arizona Code of Judicial Ethics limiting partisan political activity by sitting judges and judicial candidates.
The Justice at Stake Board of Directors announced today that Bert Brandenburg, Justice at Stake’s executive director since 2004, will leave the organization in mid-August to become president of Appleseed, a national network of public interest law centers. Liz Seaton, an attorney and Justice at Stake’s deputy executive director, will become interim executive director of Justice at Stake (JAS) later this summer.
WASHINGTON, D.C., May 27 - Justice at Stake Deputy Executive Director Liz Seaton issued the following statement in response to the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals’ Tuesday decision to reverse and remand the case of Lair v. Bullock back to the lower court, finding that the lower court had not used the correct standard of review in its initial ruling.
Washington, D.C., May 15 - Pennsylvania Supreme Court primary candidates are airing a barrage of last-minute television advertising, pushing broadcast TV ad buy totals up to at least $2.4 million as of May 15, according to Federal Communications Commission records analyzed by Brennan Center for Justice and Justice at Stake. This represents almost $1 million in new ad buys in three days.
With Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court primary less than a week away, television ad buys have reached at least $1,456,975, according to Federal Communications Commission records analyzed by Justice at Stake and the Brennan Center for Justice.
WASHINGTON, D.C, April 29 —Bert Brandenburg, Executive Director of Justice at Stake, issued the following statement on the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Williams-Yulee v. The Florida Bar:
Washington, D.C., April 8 - Wisconsin voters saw a flurry of last-minute television advertising in the run-up to an Election Day which featured two court-related contests: one for a seat on the state Supreme Court, and the other a proposed ballot measure to change the selection method for the court’s Chief Justice.
Washington, D.C., April 7 – Executive Director Bert Brandenburg of Justice at Stake issued the following statement after the approval of Question 1 on Tuesday:
Groups supporting and opposing Wisconsin’s Question 1 booked a flurry of last-minute television ad contracts on the eve of Tuesday’s election, according to publicly available files of the Federal Communications Commission.
A group backed by the Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce is easily outspending one of its rivals, a group backed by the Greater Wisconsin Committee, in a last-minute TV ad contest over a ballot initiative that would likely dislodge state Supreme Court Justice Shirley Abrahamson from her position as Chief Justice, according to an analysis by Justice at Stake.
Washington, D.C., April 1 – A group funded by the Issues Mobilization Council of Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce, which is reportedly under investigation for possible campaign finance violations in connection with Gov. Walker’s campaign during the recall election, has jumped into the television advertising arena ahead of Wisconsin’s April 7 judicial elections.